Sirikari gorge
Nice views and a small piece of history
by / Juhani

When going down into the gorge after leaving the Sirikari village,
the front opens up the most rugged slopes and at the foot of the
slope there is a path which gradually goes down to the bottom of
the gorge.
The Sirikari gorge (also known as the Tsihliano or Polyrrinia gorge) is located only about one hours drive away from the most popular tourist area in Crete, the Chania coast. (See the maps -page).

It is one of the easiest gorges in western Crete; Sirikari is an excellent gorge for the ones that start hiking on their own as well as for daytime hiking for a bigger group. Its shortness and lack of challenging parts make it possible to hike for people of different ages, but usually there is no traffic.

After a few hundred metres walk from the Sirikari village the path goes through some backyards

The path area here is the same as in the upper photo but here are the steepest parts of the slopes

Hiking in Sirikari on your own is easier to start from the Sirikari village, at the south end of the gorge.

The village is easy to find from the road that goes to Elafonisi; just follow the signs and in the yard of the Sirikari’s church there is plenty of room for cars. At both ends of the gorge there are good maps and the whole route is marked with square shaped marks; the only place where you might get lost is when you come back from the gorge, down there is a crossroad where you should follow the path that leads up left.

An easy route and the path that is in good condition make the hiking in Sirikari pleasant, plenty of different kinds of areas, rugged rock faces and the versatility of the flora make the gorge an unforgettable experience. After leaving the village, for the first few hundred metres the zigzag path goes down quite steeply, and you might feel it in your legs also when coming back to the church’s yard after four hours of walking to the end point and back, but if you have a normal physical condition you will survive.

In Sirikari there are also steep rock faces that are typical to the gorges

The luxuriant flora is flowering in spring close to the stony fences in the lower part of the gorge and there are also a lot of walnut trees. This photo is taken from the half way.

Panorama photo of a beautiful stony bridge close to the end point of the gorge. (Size 4Mb).

Sirikari is a beautiful gorge. In this photo, which is taken towards the Sirikari village, you can see also a terrace with a wartime memorial.

Panorama photo
from the north end of the gorge in the direction of the Sirikari village. (Size 4Mb).

Abundant flora nearby the bottom of the gorge.

Absolutely certainly you see goats in Sirikari.

If you want to continue hiking after the gorge along the roads and through the olive groves to an ancient Roman village, Polyrrinia, it takes about half an hour more to get there. From the village it takes another half an hour walk if you want to see the ruins of the ancient Acropolis of Polyrrinia where there is also a beautiful view to the Kissamos Bay.

Degree of difficulty
Suitable for everyone with a normal physical condition because it is one of the easiest gorges in western Crete and the hiking time from the Sirikari village to the end point, the pump station, is about 2-2, 5 hours. Carry all the water needed with you because the tap that is close by to the resting place doesn’t necessarily work. The nearest shops are in the Sirikari village and in Polyrrinia. The path is reasonably well marked but you need to be aware especially in the crossroads so that you don’t miss the square shaped marks.

This is how you get to Sirikari
Drive along the road that runs from the Chania coast to Elafonisi, go past Vulgaro, shortly after the village turn right and follow the signs to Sirikari. After arriving at Sirikari village, drive through it until you see the church behind the road that turns right; the starting point of the path to the gorge and a good information board are in the yard of that church. See the maps -page.

Additional information:

Basic information of the gorge
Total length of the path from the Sirikari village to the pump station: 4, 5 km.
Total descent 366 metres.
Total ascent 37 metres.
Total hiking time: 1h 45 min – 2h 30 min.